What Students Should Know about Driving

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Did you know drivers between the ages of 15-20 account for 14 percent of all fatal vehicle crashes? In fact, for the same age group, 30 percent of the drivers who were killed in auto crashes were under the influence of alcohol. Being a part of such a high-risk group can be scary, but driving safely is a goal that is attainable. Protecting yourself on the road is easier when you know the rules of safe driving and how to anticipate unexpected road hazards. Consider the following safe-driving guidelines to help protect you from being another fatality statistic:

  • Drive at the speed limit and adjust your speed down for night driving and road conditions such as rain, snow, ice, or fog.
  • Drive defensively. Look out for other drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, and animals.
  • Keep a safe distance between you and the car in front of you. Back off! No one likes a tailgater.
  • Always wear your seat belt. It's the law and seat belts have saved countless lives. Anyway, that glass in the forehead look is really overrated.
  • Know how to work the controls and quickly check the instrument panel of your car. Playing around with the radio, cruise control, cell phone, or any other instrument control is dangerous and decreases your concentration.
  • Pay attention when you drive. The most important thing to do when driving is driving!
  • Drive sober. Choose a designated driver.
  • Ride only with sober drivers. Offer to drive if the driver has been drinking or spring for a taxi. Almost half of the people who die in car crashes are passengers.
  • Allow plenty of time to get where you're going. The idea is getting there! There's always time for a funeral.
  • Make sure your car is in good working order. Know how to fill the gas tank, check the oil, change a flat tire, gauge tire pressure, fill windshield wiper fluid, and check windshield wipers for wear.
  • Keep your car free of trash and clean all windows and mirrors. It's not good when your diet soda can gets lodged under the brake pedal.